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“We Sales People Can become Stir Crazy and Have Cabin Fever!” It Depends on Our Attitude!

Stir Crazy is a phrase that dates to 1908 according to the Oxford English Dictionary and the online Etymology Dictionary. Used among inmates in prison, it referred to a prisoner who became mentally unbalanced because of prolonged incarceration. It is based upon the slang stir to mean prison. Sales people trapped at home feel like they are in prison!

Cabin fever is a claustrophobic reaction, manifested as extreme irritability and restlessness, that takes place when a person or group ends up in an isolated or solitary location, or stuck indoors in confined quarters for an extended period of time. This term came about as many a farmer, trapper, or hunter could become trapped in their cabin over a long and brutal winter. The Covid 19 crisis is our brutal winter!

During the Covid 19 crisis, many of us sales people have been told to stay at home or not to meet clients. Beware of becoming Stir Crazy and catching Cabin Fever.

Jeffrey Gitomer had the best advice I have seen for us to follow in this crisis:

 “Don’t Outsource Your Attitude!”

With all the instant social media bombarding us, you may be tricked into a negative, defeatist attitude by what you read from media as you sit at home bored and irritable. Don’t outsource your attitude to media! Be careful of what you read, be aware of your attitude while you are reading!

Dr. John Maxwell has said to me over and over:

 “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. Circumstances changed and now it seems like your business (or life) is falling apart. You can’t change what happened, but you can change how you react to it.”

It all starts with your attitude. Your attitude will determine how you come out of this crisis. Will you be a stronger, better, more wise sales person? Or a dithering depressed dolt?

“Focus on What You Can Control and Don’t
Waste Energy on Things You Cannot Control”
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 Let’s review Dr. Maxwell’s Axioms on Your Attitude. You can control your attitude!

Attitude Axiom #1: Our attitude determines our approach to life.
When you wake up in the morning during this “isolation” what is your attitude? What new daily habits do you need to inoculate when working at home or alone to have a positive productive day?

Attitude Axiom #2: Our attitude determines our relationships with people.
When we are out of our normal routine, we may find ourselves more touchy and grumpy. How might you improve your relationships with your family and friends during this down time? Time to help others in need?

Attitude Axiom #3: Often our attitude is the only difference between success and failure.
As a Successful Salesperson you have talent, How will you employ the gift of this “time out” to be even more successful in your job and relationships by the end of the Covid crisis?

Attitude Axiom #4: Our attitude can turn problems into blessings.
The problem of not being active, networking and selling may be a blessing. Take time and determine what blessings and opportunities arise out of this Covid Cabin Fever? Develop new habits, activities, and processes to grow as a better sales person.

Attitude Axiom #5: Our attitude can give us an uncommonly positive perspective.
All crises end. Remember this. Rather than be a Stir Crazy Sales person who is negative and down, develop habits and activities that grow you through this Covid Crisis. And remember, be a strong, positive example to others around you. Don’t infect others with fear but influence them with hope and help to come out of this Covid crisis as better stronger persons.

Keep safe, keep healthy during the Covid 19 crisis. Develop a healthy attitude first, cultivate new healthy habits, and be a positive blessing to others. Give hope not fear!

Michael J Griffin
John Maxwell Team Founder
Jeffrey Gitomer Fan
ELAvate Founder

About Michael Griffin

Michael is the CEO of ELAvate Global and Equipping Leaders for Asia Pte. Ltd. Over 40+ years, his career has revolved around developing leaders, especially sales leaders, in emerging nations. Mr. Griffin has spent the majority of his 40+ year career in Asia. His areas of expertise include Sales Productivity, Senior Executive Development, Cross Cultural Leadership, Strategy Mapping and Balanced Scorecard.

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